TEXT OF INTERVIEW
Steve Chiotakis: Angelo Cammarata’s been serving drinks to his customers in Pittsburgh for 77 years. The 95-year-old Camm, as his friends call him, is retiring from Cammarata’s Cafe in the next couple of weeks after a Guiness recognition as “world’s longest serving bartender.” He’s with us now to talk about it. Mr. Cammarata, good morning.
Angelo Cammarata: Good morning Steve.
Chiotakis: So, you know 77 years you’ve been doing this, what’s the best part of the job?
Cammarata: The best part of the job is meeting people and serving people and making friends. It’s all friendly. Our customers are all family members.
Chiotakis: You say you like to meet people and talk with people at the bar, was there anything else you wanted to do as a career?
Cammarata: Not really. I am fortunately, or unfortunately, I graduated high school in the midst of the Depression. Nothing was available. My dad had a grocery store. And so beer came back in ’33, and just automatically turned over into selling beer and getting rid of all the groceries.
Chiotakis: This was the lifting of prohibition?
Cammarata: The lifting of prohibition, yes. I sold my first bottle of beer two seconds after midnight on April the 7th. We had maybe 15-20 men, persons waiting outside because they knew it. And I took the first case of beer off the beer truck that had been parked in front of our business area and sold a bottle of beer for 10 cents.
Chiotakis: You’ve been selling a lot of beer since. What’s your favorite drink to make?
Cammarata: I’m not a mixologist. You make a gin and tonic, and you make uh…
Chiotakis: The simple stuff?
Cammarata: Yeah, yeah. We’re not a fancy bar, we’re not a big bar. We’re a neighborhood bar.
Chiotakis: What are you looking for in your retirement, sir?
Cammarata: Rest. Peace and rest. My wife is 92 and she doesn’t walk much, so I look after her needs. We look after each other.
Chiotakis: Well Angelo Cammarata joining us from Pittsburgh. Thank you and good luck to you sir.
Cammarata: Thank you.
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